Numerological Seven & The Chariot
Recently, I read another great blog post from Parsifal’s Wheel Tarot & Astrology which you can read here. The post features the idea of a crossroads to examine the numerological symbolism within tarot. While this may seem simple, it’s actually quite tough to do. There are quite a few ways to add, subtract, and multiply numbers to get any one viewpoint or result. While the original post explored The Lovers, which is perfect for a crossroads, I couldn’t help but want to explore The Chariot. This card is representative of my Life Path number, or my personality and soul number. It just so happens, that The Chariot also corresponds to Cancer. So, why not, in honor of the New Moon, take a look?
To begin, it’s easier to breakdown all the numbers that can go into seven, or The Chariot. This takes very little math, but has huge rewards. Out of all the number combinations using addition, we have 1 + 6, 2 + 5, and 3 + 4. This would translate into The Magician + The Lovers, The High Priestess + The Hierophant, and The Empress + The Emperor. Some themes are already starting to take place by doing this. But, what about subtracting? Using the Major Arcana only, we get the following possibilities 21 – 14, 20 – 13, 19 – 12, 18 – 11, 17 – 10, 16 – 9, 15 – 8, 13 – 6, 12 – 5, 11 – 4, 10 – 3, 9 – 2, and 8 – 1. These are an almost overwhelming set of possibilities. There are some fascinating combinations here, especially given the fact we tend not to think in terms of taking away.
But, take for example, The Star (17) minus The Wheel of Fortune (10), to get The Chariot (7). This is Spirituality minus Destiny to get Determination, or in other words, Determination plus Destiny gives one Spirituality. It’s a little bit strange, but think on that for a moment as its a little profound. One of my personal favorite insights using subtraction is actually The Tower (16) minus The Hermit (9). This is Soul-Searching subtracted from Upheaval to get Victory, or again, Determination. Why is this one a personal favorite? Because The Tower reduces down to 7, by taking 1 + 6, and often represents the Hidden Aspect of numerological seven.
Being practical, it’s difficult to focus too much on the insights gained by subtraction. So, for this post, I mainly wanted to touch on the additional side of things. This leaves us with a much more manageable option of three card combinations. The first of which, that stood out to me at least, was The Empress (3) and The Emperor (4). When in combination, these two cards often represent marriage. It’s not a perfect combination, but it’s one most tarot readers will agree on and accept. The themes here are also really important, because you have a more abstract depiction of the individual taking place. The Empress (mother’s influence) plus The Emperor (father’s influence), should hopefully result in a strong individual personality (that of The Chariot).
On a more traditional level, we find the following statement taking place, Creativity (The Empress) plus Structure (The Emperor) results in Success (The Chariot). This is an idea represented throughout the tarot. In order for our ideas or goals to become manifest, they must first be rooted in something solid. Within the crossroads pattern, this seemed like a good overall idea to put at the top. That leaves us with the other two combinations turning into a somewhat interchange going into the theme of personal identity and success. We can take either of these two concepts to the extreme, focusing mainly on Creativity or Personal Identity, or some combination of the two. The Chariot normally gets interpreted in terms of Personal Identity and Success, but I’m open to either option.
The next combination, is The Magician (1) and The Lovers (6). By far and away, this is the most difficult of the combinations for me. The Magician is often linked to Willpower, while The Lovers is often linked to Divine Choice. Taking into account our overall themes, I would say this combines to form, Willpower plus Divine Choice results in Success of Self. This is difficult to express, but easy to see playing out in practice. When we know what we want, and make choices accordingly, the result is a better happier self. In a more abstract view, this also means that a marriage between our personal direction and our personal decisions must take plus. Both must be in accordance with the other, or conflict will emerge and success will not be possible.
For the last combination, we have The High Priestess (2) and The Hierophant (5). These two cards give us an often overlooked part of The Chariot. Here we see Intuition merging with Belief to give us Determination. Interestingly enough, this actually represents the creative side of The Chariot as well. Spirituality is said to be the source of Creativity, and as such, one gives way to the other. The Chariot is only able to achieve Personal Success by first innovating. All the cards do tie into the other. While ridiculous, it’s worth noting that, The Empress (3) + The Emperor (4) + The High Priestess (2) + The Hierophant (5) + The Magician (1) + The Lovers (6) = The World (21). The number 21 itself is a multiple of seven, by taking 3 x 7, or The Empress (3) times The Chariot (7). Determination raised by the Beauty of Creation, gives us Completion.
Alright, so that’s probably a ridiculous observation, but what of the more subtle combinations that reduce down to The Chariot’s seven. In the original blog post, this was done by highlighting three different outcomes. There’s a higher ideal, a lower ideal, and then, a delicate pathway in between these two. Out of the numbers that reduce down to seven, the most embraced by the tarot seems to be that of twenty-five. It just appears the most in a variety of card combinations within the Major Arcana. Interestingly enough, this would also indicate an importance on the combination of The High Priestess and The Hierophant within The Chariot. But, again, that might be seeing too many connections between numbers for your individual taste.
For our higher ideal, I chose the combination of The Star (17) and Strength (8). This isn’t necessarily a perfect combination for those utilizing a more occult approach. If you’re using an occult traditional approach it would be The Star and Justice instead. However, for this post, I’ll use a somewhat interchangeable definition of Discipline for both cards. In other words, we can take Inspiration plus Discipline and get Success. Note though, that elements of both The Star and Justice/Strength are represented already in The Chariot. This speaks to the immense spiritual aspect of The Chariot often overlooked. It’s important to remember when discussing the lower ideal combination.
To get that, we need to take The Devil (15) and the Wheel of Fortune (10) in combination. For me, this is a fascinating combination that really speaks to my current experience. While it may not be wonderful to admit, The Devil is currently my year card, so there’s that. But, in any case, The Devil and Wheel of Fortune combine to give us, Materialism plus Destiny to result in Willpower. Another fun combination is that of Sexuality plus Luck results in Control. Think on that one if you want, but it’s best we not explore that one too much, right? Anyway, this does represent a lower ideal, or a negative connotation to most of us. It’s not okay to be too stubborn, or to pursue materialism for the sake of accomplishment alone. There’s the ignoring of a spiritual component that is bad for the soul.
In between ignoring spirituality and embracing spiritual for personal success to take place, we get an odd middle road. This is the road of Death (13) and The Hanged Man (12), or Endings and Sacrifice. Hopefully, the process would lead us back to Control, mainly control over self. The problem with this path is that it seems to be a painful one. Constantly sacrificing or being stagnate, only to start over or give up projects isn’t ideal on the road to personal success. A higher ideal of knowing yourself, and the direction in which to go, would prevent most of the restarting. This is an important lesson that Numerology teaches us within the tarot. Keep in mind, those with a Life Path number of 7 will tend toward seeking answers to all of life’s questions. Knowing yourself though, should not be overlooked in this process.
If there’s a prevailing theme when at least attempting to explore the various numerological combinations of The Chariot, it’s spirituality. This is a surprising aspect to the card not otherwise noticeable. Themes of willpower or victory may be more prevalent, but they don’t always speak to the astrological symbolism of Astrological Cancer. According to the Golden Dawn, Astrological Cancer symbolizes internalization or giving form to that within. In other words, Cancer rules over the emotions. This is a bit strange, but The Chariot is a piece of the New Moon phase we find ourselves in. The Moon corresponds to emotions as well, but it takes willpower and a sense of self to direct that which is within.
Odd as it may seem, the card corresponding to the Moon in Cancer, is actually the Four of Cups. This card is called, The Lord of Blended Pleasure, and speaks to both The High Priestess (Moon) and The Chariot (Cancer) in combination. And, well, 7 + 2 = 9, or The Hermit. This is an interest additional theme, at least for the moment. The 4 of Cups is all about meditation and introspection. But, one does have to wonder, what kind of blended pleasure lies ahead? The way Cancer speaks to a natural blending of the outward with the inward is subtle but definite. In The Chariot, we see this shining better than in most cards. There’s always something to be gained at the crossroads, and in this case, it might just be a mixture of spiritual pleasure and our own will expressing itself.